Wednesday, July 7, 2010

No it is not April 1

My first reaction to this story in the Evening Standard was that somehow I and everyone else (including whoever is in charge of the weather, which is hot and sticky) have misread the calendar. Today is not July 7, anniversary of the London transport bombs but April 1. How else can one explain that a 14 year-old was arrested, kept in a police cell, had her fingerprints taken and generally treated as a criminal for saying that she did not want to work in a group with five pupils, four of whom spoke no English at all.
Codie was attending a GCSE science class at Harrop Fold High School in Worsley, Greater Manchester, when the incident happened.

The teenager had not been in school the day before due to a hospital appointment and had missed the start of a project, so the teacher allocated her a group to sit with.
"She said I had to sit there with five Asian pupils," said Codie yesterday.

"Only one could speak English, so she had to tell that one what to do so she could explain in their language. Then she sat me with them and said 'Discuss'."

According to Codie, the five - four boys and a girl - then began talking in a language she didn't understand, thought to be Urdu, so she went to speak to the teacher.

"I said 'I'm not being funny, but can I change groups because I can't understand them?' But she started shouting and screaming, saying 'It's racist, you're going to get done by the police'."

Codie said she went outside to calm down where another teacher found her and, after speaking to her class teacher, put her in isolation for the rest of the day.

A complaint was made to a police officer based full-time at the school, and more than a week after the incident on September 26 she was taken to Swinton police station and placed under arrest.

"They told me to take my laces out of my shoes and remove my jewellery, and I had my fingerprints and photograph taken," said Codie. "It was awful."

After questioning on suspicion of committing a section five racial public order offence, her mother Nicola says she was placed in a bare cell for three-and-a-half hours then released without charge.
I am not sure what I find more offensive: the teachers who seem unable to cope with the slightest problem without calling in the police, the school in general, which does not understand that putting children who speak next to no English together in one group so they never learn is a good idea or the police who clearly have no crimes to deal with in that area as they can waste their time and the taxpayers' money on this sort of thing. Of course, this is
the same local education authority where a ten-year-old boy was prosecuted earlier this year for calling a schoolfriend racist names in the playground, a move branded by a judge "political correctness gone mad."
Perhaps, Mr Gove would like to have a look at that educational authority.

By a curious coincidence I am half-way through a new book by Richard Gaunt about Sir Robert Peel, the man credited with reforming the legal system in the first half of the nineteenth century. One outcome of his reforms was that children were no longer abused in the name of the law or what was interpreted as law. It would appear that Sir Robert's work is being reversed by our educationalists and police.

UPDATE: A reader has pointed out to me that the story is a tad old and, indeed, I should have checked the date. Mea culpa. It will not happen again. As there are comments on it, I shall leave the story up and promise to blog a little more carefully in future. My excuse? A new kitten has joined the household.


  1. My next door neighbour tells me that his grandson has been excluded from school. As part of their indoctrination/civics class, they were made to listen to a Muslim spokesman who told them what a rotten time he had being a Muslim in Britain.

    "Why don't you go somewhere else then?" the lad enquired "If I felt like that, that's what I'd do".

    Then they had a speaker from the "travelling community" with a similar tale of woe.

    "Why don't you get a job?" he asked.

    (I should say that his family is the sort which would certainly "get on their bike" to look for employment as Lord Tebbit recommended).

    So he is excluded from education. His mother went to see the school about it and said she would rather he was excused this sort of indoctrination to avaoid any further trouble but was told "We are a mullticultural society". I suppose he was lucky not to be locked up.

    It seems to me that the authorities have made sure that "the process is the punishment" for alleged offences of this sort. A street preacher was recently given the treatment and locked up overnight for telling a police Community Support Officer that homosexual behaviour was sinful. The officer was the local representative of the Gay Police Association (or whatever it's called). So acting "without fear, favour, malice or ill will " no longer seems to be part of a constable's duty. I understand that a Muslim Metropolitan Police Constable has been excused guarding the Israeli embassy on grounds of conscience. So these "rights" appear to apply only to favoured client groups.

  2. And we have to ask why is the teacher still employed? She should be on the child abuse register. This Country has really gone downhill in a big way. I feel so sorry that children have to put up with this sort of abuse from their so called mentors. But I have often wondered if this type of "teaching?" is part of the trouble that is happening amongst some of the young. We were too busy working at school in order to improve our lives.

  3. Helen,

    Yes this is not good, but look at the date on the story, it's from October 2006. There is something in a similar vein from today though, where teachers are spending so much time translating into English, using a computer, for the majority non English speaking pupils they have no real time to teach.

  4. I do feel sorry for that girl. There are two ways to avoid this substandard education system. One is to go to a private school and the other is to move to an area where there are much fewer immigrants. Both options cost money. It is the less well off who are suffering from the mass immigration of recent years.